Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Spirit of Free Enterprise

We are constantly battered from all directions with the instruction that our current economic woes will be overcome by an unleashing of the latent, suppressed spirit of entrepreneurship. 

A couple of true stories.*

Rob works in recruitment, or did.  He was made redundant last year, and spent months firing off CVs and travelling all over the country for interviews, until at last he was offered a three month probationary post, covering a field some way distant from his expertise and experience.  He took the job, but soon discovered that employers in this field just weren’t recruiting, anywhere, anyone.  So he thought, off his own bat, ‘well, I’ll look around a bit at my own area’, and managed to achieve quite a few placements.

Last week, his probation expired, and he was informed that his position would not be confirmed.  It was recognised that he had delivered some results, it was explained to him, but they weren’t within his agreed key result area, so didn’t count.  The CVs are out again.


Christine had been working for her company for fifteen years.  One day, she came up with a clever idea to reorganise her department in order to increase throughput and save costs.  She took this to her bosses, who were enthusiastic and charged her with working the idea up into a detailed proposal, which she did, over a two month period.  She presented her plan, which was accepted wholesale.

A few days later, she was called in.  The savings she had identified would indeed be realised.  One of these was to eliminate a layer of management, and Christine’s job had been selected for this purpose.  She wasn’t sacked, she was offered a sideways move into another department, which of course she accepted. 

*I’ve changed the names and blurred the details, obviously.


  1. I had a feeling how these would end as I read along. It is a strong willed person to look deeply into saving or bettering the company that they work with. But it's even a bigger, better company who doesn't turn their back on their employees, they may toss away the unnecessary, but keep the person! Bravo on the second company!

  2. Rob should have a shot at starting his own recruitment business - low overheads, contacts based etc. You'll rarely be able to "unleash latent entrepreneurship" in a Company unless it's yourself running in a la Steve Jobs.

  3. Well I hope Christine's sideways move was a good one for her.